– Spoiler Review –
After the shocking death at the end of the last episode, “The Lost Lords” had a lot to live up to. And while it doesn’t necessarily top the first episode, it builds upon that death’s devastating repercussions and expands its character roster with one surprising face and one on the other side of Westeros.
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
(UPDATE: I won’t be reviewing this series any more, nor its finale, which I finally completed two years later. It, like much of this series, was rather lackluster, and left me feeling like most of my decisions didn’t matter as there was an outcome planned anyways. The North Grove? Not explained beyond there being creepy magic to help slay the White Walkers. By the end, at least for me, the Forrester family has less members alive then the Starks and they are no where near as important. There will be a second season, so if you enjoyed this then don’t fret there’s more to come, but I’d be doubtful to return as I’ll be too busy watching the show or re-reading the books (or reading a new one, if George R.R .Martin ever gets one out!). Good luck playing and thanks for checking out the Manor; stay awhile for our primary focus, Star Wars, if you’d like!)
The biggest surprise in “The Lost Lords” is Rodrik’s survival. The beginning of Ep. 1 dropped us in the start of the infamous Red Wedding, where we watched prodigal and eldest Forrester son Rodrik be killed…or so we thought. His miraculous survival slightly softens the blow of Ethan’s death for the Forresters, but the Whitehall family is still up their ass on everything. Could a new Lord of the House be enough to hold them at bay? It’s not long before Rodrik is in several situations which require big decisions, including trying to renegotiate a planned betrothal and butting heads with the Whitehill clan. I enjoyed Rodrik’s decisions because it felt like a continuation of Ethan’s segment, letting me carry on the noble work I started with that character, but I fear my anger over Ethan’s death (and Rodrik’s anger) is what caused me to make some rather rash decisions that have forced the Whitehills to take over the iron wood business. Oops.
But it’s not just Rodrik’s choices you’re faced with which affect the family: Mira’s section continues to play out like an espionage movie–which is part of how playing the game of thrones would likely feel–as it’s hard to know who to trust or whose trust to want. She can choose to help smooth over the betrothal for Rodrik by faking a note from Lady Margaery, forge an alliance with Tyrion to ensure the Forresters are selling their own wood and profiting from it, not the Whitehills, and whether or not to commit murder. Oh yeah, things really heat up for Mira and I feel like she has the hardest time of the bunch so far. And since I’ve had such a hard time making decisions for her character (more than the others), it caused me to pause the game to get some extra decision making time. It’s much more difficult than some other Telltale game’s choices now that the rest of the characters you play will feel the consequences of another character’s choices.
Gared Tuttle arrives at Castle Black to begin his watch atop the Wall, as he was banished there as a way to appease the Whitehill’s due to murdering their men who had just slaughtered his innocent family. However, with Ethan’s death and the events of “The Lost Lords,” the banishment seems moot considering the Forresters are way up shit creek with the Whitehills due to several other things. Either way, Gared’s time at the Wall was probably the least interesting segment, as it follows him learning how to deal with his fellow brothers and facing challenges to prove his worth as a member of the Night’s Watch. The only reason he gets to interact with Jon Snow (played by Kit Harrington) is due to Snow’s interests in learning what happened at the Red Wedding, and why no one was able to save his family. Nothing else of note for his segment, which was a nice break considering the other segments are full of decisions which can affect all of the family.
Lastly, we’re introduced to Asher Forrester, the son who was banished to the other side of the world for loving a Whitehill girl, and whose uncle Malcolm was dispatched to bring him home after the Red Wedding wiped out Lord Gregor and (at the time) Rodrik. Asher is the latest (and possibly last) playable character and his story starts just a few days after Daenerys Targaryen ‘liberated’ Yunkai (pictured at the top). He and a friend, Beskha, are holding a slaver captive for ransom when a sellsword company, the Lost Legion, rain on their parade and a big battle in their little hideout takes place. Malcolm shows up in the nick of time and they flee the scene of the battle and attempt to sneak out of Yunkai. The three of them settle on gathering up an army of sorts to bring home to Ironrath and beat back the Whitehills…maybe even the Boltons. There wasn’t a lot of choices, per se, in Asher’s segment, but helping Beskha with her ‘unfinished business’ in Mereen and possibly sidetracking their mission to gain an army could prove to have disastrous consequences for the rest of the family.
Here are a few other things:
- Even though Telltale currently has the market cornered on adventure games, the team at Dontnod Entertainment has entered the fray with Life is Strange, an original IP adventure game. I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode and look forward to where the series will go, but even with only one episode released there’s several design choices that I wish Telltale would implement into their games. From an intuitive interface instead of the clunky point and click, to more character driven than plot driven, Telltale could certainly learn a few things from Dontnod’s first foray into the genre. Also, Life is Strange has little to no glitches, something that plagues all Telltale releases and somehow still hasn’t been addressed or fixed. Kotaku also has a really great write up on how Telltale can learn a thing or two from the new series.
- So far there hasn’t been any choices where their outcomes deviate greatly from one another, but I have a feeling that’ll likely change soon.
- Again, the oil painting graphics look great in still-shots, but they’re getting distracting while the game is in motion.
“The Lost Lords” picks up the first episode’s mess and finds some tough ways to deal with it. No one looks to be having it easy and following different playable characters and trying to deduce what their decisions mean for everyone else has proven to be a great mechanic.
+ Repercussion of Ethan’s death felt
+ Rodrik’s survival
+ Mira’s rough court life
– Oil painting graphics (while in motion)